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Trinity College Cambridge and Glasgow University won the top two places in this year's national programming competition, but industry teams took four of the five next highest rankings.

Trinity solved a record seven problems to beat the 12 other teams in the final, hosted by IT services group EDS. The universities renewed the academic world's grip on the competition after teams from industry took the top two places last year.

Even so, teams from IBM's Hursley Laboratory took third, sixth and seventh places, while internet company, entering for the first time, was fourth.

The competition is run by the BCS Young Professionals Group for teams of up to five people aged 18-30, who solve problems against the clock using C or C++.

Trinity College team manager Steve Saxon says: "I recommend the competition to anyone - both universities and companies - as a good fun day out and a team-building experience."

Saxon adds: "Our victory shows there is a place for amateur programmers in a world of professional teams when tasks need to be financed quickly. Our team of three computer science undergraduates, a PhD student and a maths undergraduate won through on sheer speed in completing the first few problems - we did four in the first two hours. Many of them could be solved two ways, and fortunately we saw the simpler ways, making the logic much easier."

The main prize this year was five days of training from Parity Training for each winning team member. In addition, Microsoft presented training kits and Office software to each member of the first and second teams.

The competition is supported by SkillIT, which was set up with funding from the Government and IT companies to run events of this type.

The final line-up

Trinity College, Cambridge 7
Glasgow University 6
IBM 6 5
University of Wales Swansea 4
Abertay University 2
Staffordshire University 2
Agilent Technologies 2
Agilent Technologies 2
Imperial College 1
Newcastle University 0

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